Archive for category News

Scheherazade’s Facade: Post Game Report #1

Short and sweet: we did it.  With a final total of $6153 (over our original goal of $5000), and a total of 233 backers, the Scheherazade’s Facade Kickstarter campaign came to an end, and was officially successful.  Thank you to everyone who pledged, pre-0rdered, passed the word, and supported us in various ways.  This was a group effort, and because of you all, this anthology will see the light of day at last.  Our authors will be paid professional rates for their work, and you’l finally get to read the stories that have haunted me for several years.

Now the next phase begins, where we take care of all the little last minute details that go into any publishing endeavor.  I’ll be contacting the supporters to make sure we have all the necessary info for their rewards, wrangling the authors to make sure they’re still awake, and so on.  The important thing is that we have the funding, and this project can move forward.

I’m planning several more post game reports, talking about the Kickstarter process, the pitfalls, what I learned, what seemed to work and what didn’t, and how to stay sane during the process.  If you have any questions you’d like answered, just leave them in any of the usual places and I’ll try to get to them.  In the meantime, stay cool and be excellent to each other.

(Pictured: One of the Feline Advisory Committee. This is Molly. She knows what you did.  How could you?)

Scheherazade’s Facade: The Penultimate Kickstarter Update

Ladies and gentlemen, our month-long odyssey nears its inevitable conclusion.  The Scheherazade’s Facade Kickstarter campaign has approximately twelve hours left to run before it ends tonight at 3 AM EDT.  I’m not going to inundate you with a blow-by-blow countdown as we near the end.  Rather, I’ll just put it out there into the world one last time, that at this point, I have two goals which would satisfy my love of numbers and symbols.

1)We’re at 224 backers.  I would so dearly love to hit 225 (or higher).  One more person would do the trick.  I’d also settle for 250 backers, if there’s 26 people who haven’t gotten around to pledging but really want to.  But I’ll take what I can get.

2) We’re at $5970.  We are -this- close to $6000.  Again, one pledge would do the trick.  We do have a $30 dollar package for both the ebook and the trade paperback, you know….

So it wouldn’t take much to satisfy both of these last-minute “victory goals.”

(Edit: Even as I write this, someone magically pops up to to be my #225 hero.  Yay!  But we’re still $20 short of that magical big number.  Can we do it?  Yes we can!  See, you never know what will happen in these crazy, turbulent times.)

So if you were planning to pledge, you don’t have much time.  Pre-order Scheherazade’s Facade and you get my thanks and admiration, and the satisfaction of a job well done, and a book you’ll hopefully enjoy.  (They also make great birthday presents.  Or blog giveaways.  Or library donations, if you decide it’s not for you afterwards.  See, you have options!

Now, if anyone decides that twelve hours before the deadline is a good time to -cancel-, on the other hand, I should warn you: My cats?  Are CHAMPIONS at horking, and I know where your shoes are.

I kid, I kid.  Just a little last minute editor-is-flailing-with-anticipation-mixed-with-neurotic-worries humor.  But I have a Maine Coon and he knows what to do with potted plants.  Oh, does he.  And I’m not afraid to use him.  Scheherazade’s Facade: pledge now or the potted plant is toast.

So spread the word, one last time.  Talk it up to your friends and readers and followers, one last time.  Remind people that you know where the bodies are buried, one last time. Kidnap the boss’s poodle, one last time.  And I’ll see you in a few hours, when we pop the metaphorical bubbly and celebrate success.

Assorted Updates and Good News

1) Thanks, folks! All of your voting paid off! “Devil’s Masquerade” has been accepted for inclusion in Fantastic Erotica: The Best of Circlet Press 2008-2012.  I’m thrilled that my sexy lesbian adventurers will get a chance to see print yet again, and this time in a real, physical book.  Yay!

2) I got the author proofs for my forthcoming anthology, Like A Cunning Plan: Erotic Trickster Tales, due out from Circlet sometime relatively soon.  Again, yay!  I feel like a real editor, seeing this thing so close to completion.

3) Scheherazade’s Facade has 53 hours to go on Kickstarter, and we’re sitting at $5825.  I know my original stretch goal of $10k was probably a little too stretchy, but we can totally hit $6000, right?  Right?  It would make me and the authors really happy…. If you’ve been waiting until the last minute, this weekend is it!

4) My review of Seanan McGuire’s new urban fantasy, Discount Armageddon, is live on Tor.  Go check it out!

5) I’m on Twitter as Oneminutemonkey and while I may not post a lot, I’d love more followers so I’m not screaming into the wind so much.  I do that enough without the Internet’s help. :)

That’s all for now.

Scheherazade’s Facade: The Final Countdown

Oooo, shades of the ’80s.  It’s the final countdown!  The Scheherazade’s Facade Kickstarter campaign is nearing the end of its dramatic journey.  We’ve all had some good times along the way–who can forget the climatic battle against the jetpack gorillas, cyborg Nazis, and–yeah, sorry, I forgot you weren’t there for that.  Forget I said anything.  National security.

But seriously, it’s been an awesome time here, watching everyone spread the cheer and get involved.  Now, we only have five days left before this sucker closes at 3 AM EST, April 16th. If you’ve been thinking about pledging, now’s the time.  Last-minute revelations are all well and fine, but if you’re like me, you’ll forget and feel really embarrassed later.   I was almost late to my own wedding.  True story.  Don’t let this be you.  Pledge $10 for the ebook, $25 for the trade paperback, $30 for the combo, or $50 and up for the special bonus packs.   Buy them as belated Easter gifts, early Christmas presents, anniversary gifts!  If you’re an American who got a tax refund, help stimulate the economy by pre-ordering this book!  If you’re not an American, just consider this one way to help the global economy, as you’re helping to support the careers of authors from six different countries!  Get a headstart on what I fully expect to be the most talked-about, most acclaimed, most award-winningest anthology of the year.  (I’m allowed to exaggerate, right?)

Tell your friends, tell your enemies, tell your neighbors.  Unless it might invite too many awkward questions.  (“Hey Bill, I know the last time we spoke was after your dog ate our roses and defecated on the front porch, but this dude on the Internet told me to tell you to buy a book…)

And remember: the closer we come to hitting that secondary gal of $10,000, the less I’ll have to scream and shout when it comes time to doing a second volume.

Two Really Cool Projects

I thought I’d take a break from the same old same, to pass along word of two more projects that I happen to think are awesome.

1) Ace librarian and monster researcher Jess Nevins is looking to follow up his Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana and forthcoming Encyclopedia of Pulp Heroes with the Encyclopedia of Golden Age Superheroes.  Sadly, this is a project which requires extensive research and journeys to strange, exotic places which house the lost treasures of another age.  To that end, he’s doing a Kickstarter.  He reached his initial goal in twelve hours (the lucky bastard, share some of the love with the rest of us, man) but  the more he gets, the more bonuses and premiums he can offer.  But you know what?  This is going to be the MUST-HAVE item for any truly dedicated fan of comic books, pop culture, or lost ephemera.  Jess Nevins is one of the only men alive capable of annotating Alan Moore’s works and not just living, but escaping with his sanity intact.  He’s spent untold hours untangling the mysteries of pulp heroes, Golden Age comics, and other weird stuff online, providing invaluable resources for gamers and writers everywhere, and I’m in awe of his work.  If you know me at all, you’ll know I’m all over this project.

2) The Future Fire are publishing “a themed anthology of colonialism-themed speculative fiction from outside the first-world viewpoint, co-edited by Fabio Fernandes.” Supporting this anthology allows them to pay their writers professional rates, even as they offer up a collection of stories from viewpoints that don’t always get a lot of spotlight.  Sounds like a worthwhile effort to me!  $10 gets you the e-book version, and so on and up.

I have no personal stake in either of these efforts, save for the desire to see them succeed and further bring  a little more awesomeness into the world.

Scheherazade’s Facade: Reminder and Ephemera

Hello, all.  I’m coming to you live from my secret volcano lair, to remind you that the Scheherazade’s Facade Kickstarter campaign is still live and going strong.  Right now, there are twelve days to go until we end on April 16th, and it’s not too late to join in the fun.  We’re at $5620 right now, which is awesome. That’s more than the original goal, and a princely sum by any standards–provided you have a small prince.   But lest you think that we’re content to settle for mere success, we’re currently aiming for phenomenal success.  That is, to say, I’m dreaming of hitting $10,000 and green-lighting work on a second volume.  But you know what?  I’ll be happy if everyone who’s interested in this anthology, intrigued by its concept, tempted by its fabulous lineup, or seduced by that gorgeous cover, gets their copy through the magical art of pre-ordering via Kickstarter.  If that’s one more person, or ten, or a hundred more, now’s the time.

I thought I’d take this opportunity to round up some appropriate links on the subject.

David Sklar has an excerpt of his story, “Lady Marmalade’s Special Place in Hell,” available here on the Outer Alliance blog.  He’s also posted about the odyssey of his story here.

A very nice write-up of the anthology’s path to publication from the local Roanoke.com website.  I was as surprised as anyone to see this.   Who knew they knew I existed in my own home town?

A fascinating discussion on Dear Author about crowdfunding and patronage of the arts, in which Scheherazade’s Facade was singled out for mention.  In a nice way.

Even The Ferrett approves of this project, and he doesn’t gives the thumbs-up to just any old thing.

Seanan McGuire said nice things about me and the project, and made me blush.

Contributor Paolo Chikiamco took us international by posting to Rocket Kapre, a major resource for speculative fiction in the Philippines.  (Okay, I know, we’re already international.  Later I’ll have to talk about just how many different countries my authors hail from.)

And of course thank you to everyone else who’s mentioned us in Livejournal posts, in tweets, on Tumblr, on Facebook, and carved their message into the Moon in mile-high letters.  I know all, see all, appreciate all.  I still don’t understand my cats, or why Virgil loves the bathroom so much. So keep spreading the word, and I’ll keep doing whatever the heck it is I do.  Once someone tells me.  I think I have to feed the cats.  Again.  Or so they say….

 

 

Scheherazade’s Facade: Week Two and Other Kickstarter Signal Boosts

So here we are, at the end of the second week of the Scheherazade’s Facade Kickstarter campaign.  And, well, things look good.  We hit our goal on Monday, and now we’re just trying to see what sort of damage we can do before the pledging period ends on April 16th.  We’re at $5498, which is a more than respectable amount.  My dream, as mentioned before, would be to hit $10,000 before the end, so we can be absolutely guaranteed of doing a science fiction companion volume in the near future.  If we make it that far, awesome.  If not, we’ll just have to try again at some point. What’s important is that we hit the goal we were aiming for.

So that’s all the news that’s fit to print about Scheherazade’s Facade.  Now I’d like to tell you about some of the other Kickstarter projects I’ve run across that I’ve found worth supporting.  What can I say?  I like to share.  I’m not asking you to do anything other than, if you’re interested, check them out.   They haven’t asked this of me, there’s no kickbacks involved, nothing of the sort.

1) Laura Anne Gilman is looking for funding so she can write two novellas featuring her half-human, half-faun P.I., Danny Hendrickson.  If you’re a fan of her Retrievers or P.S.I. urban fantasy series (The Cosa Nostradamus setting), you’ll want to look into this as it’s a spinoff of those two series.  Laura Anne writes smart, funny, exciting fantasy, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she does with this character.

2) Spirit of the Century is a 1930′s-era pulp adventure game, and they’re looking to put out a trilogy based on the material.  It looks like a hell of a lot of fun.  Authors include Chuck Wendig, Brian Clevinger (Atomic Robo), and C.E. Murphy. All of these authors are pretty cool, and this promises to be plenty entertaining in a weird way.

3) Judith Tarr is looking to release a YA novel that features three young women working across space and time to solve a mystery.

4) Tales of the Emerald Serpent is a new shared universe mosaic anthology, in the spirit of Thieves World or Wild Cards.  Authors involved include Harry Connolly (The Twenty Palaces series),  Juliet McKenna, Martha Wells and Julie Czernada.  Definitely a good group of people, authors who know how to deliver an exciting story.

That’s my plug for the day, and I’m out of here.  Those cats don’t vacuum themselves, you know.  Not any more.  Not after the last time….

Scheherazade’s Facade: The VICTORY Update

Dear Everyone -

We did it.  As of 3:08 PM EST, March 26, 2012, the Scheherazade’s Facade Kickstarter Campaign hit its goal of $5000.00.  This means that, barring the zombie apocalypse, we’re fully funded and this anthology will move forward with all due speed to see the light of day.  The authors will be paid, the art team will be paid, the editor will get a double ration of gruel, the cats will get their gold-plated litterboxes (JUST KIDDING), and everyone who’s chosen to do so will get the anthology itself.  I can’t thank you enough.  For the LJ posts and mailing list hits, the Tumblrs and Tweets and Facebook updates and the Jerry Lewis telethon and the one enterprising person who tried to get me to donate to that political party you don’t like.  This was a team effort from top to bottom, and I owe it all to friends, family, my authors, and everyone else who thought this sounded like a good idea.

So there’s a problem.  We’re fully funded… with three weeks to go.  What now?  I mean, do we roll up our publicity apparatus, congratulate ourselves on a job well-done, and move on to something else?  I mean, we have 176 backers. At least 170 of those want the book.  That’s a fair number, right?  It’s not like we have to do anything now that we’ve hit our goal.  Or….

Hey.  Just between you and me, there’s no reason we can’t continue to spread the word.  Y’know, spend the next three weeks casually mentioning this to people, and allowing as how it’s definitely a book that’s going to come out, with a dozen all-new original fantasy and urban fantasy stories by a stellar lineup of authors from around the globe.  Y’know, remind people that it’s not too late to pledge if they want a copy of Scheherazade’s Facade in electronic or trade paperback, and they can still take advantage of our fabulous deals.  Because there have got to be more people who want to read this, who haven’t pledged already.  Just because we’ve hit the goal means we have to -stop-, after all.

I know I can’t ask anything more of you guys, but why let the next three weeks go to waste?  In fact, tell you what.

If we manage to hit $10,000 before the end of the campaign, there will be a Scheherazade’s Facade 2: The Science Fiction Edition.  (Not final title.  Also not final titles: SF2: Bend Harder;  SF2: Electric Sheep Boogaloo;  SF2: I Think I’m A Clone Now.)  Now, I don’t know who’ll be in it yet – I haven’t even written guidelines, much less asked authors, pulled out my blackmail folder, or calculated whether a yacht fits in my driveway. (Hint: it wouldn’t.)  All I know at this point in time is that I’d love to do the science fiction companion to this fantasy anthology, and I’d love to get the same level talent and vision, and I’d love to pay them that professional rate.  So if we hit that next tier, I’ll find a way to put the money towards a second volume.  (And if we don’t hit it, I’ll think of something else.  And if for whatever unthinkable reason this anthology bombs, and I’m forced to move to Siberia and work as a rock farmer, at least I can afford thermal undies…)

So that’s my say.  We’ve hit our goal, I love you all, and a sequel is entirely possible if things go well.  Spread the word.  And thank you.

Scheherazade’s Facade: Week One Report (And more Excerpts)

So here we are, exactly one week since the Scheherazade’s Facade Kickstarter Campaign launch, and we are doing spectacularly.  $4158 of $5000.  83% with 148 backers and 23 days to go.  And all I can say is WOW.  The goal is practically in sight, and I am thrilled with everyone.  I know we’re going to reach the goal, and I couldn’t be happier.   Thank you again to everyone who’s pledged or spread the word.  I and the authors appreciate it.  Keep it up, and don’t think that if we hit that goal we’ll slack off.  I’m really hoping this book will reach a wide audience of fantasy lovers everywhere.

And as a treat, have some snippets from the five stories I didn’t cover last time:

“The job of a Kambal Kulam was simple: protect clients from harmful curses by serving as living decoys. There were many types of curses available to a Philippine sorcerer, but the most deadly all required the use of a sympathetic element, hair or skin or some bodily fluid of the intended victim.” – From “Kambal Kulam” by Paolo Chikiamco

” Just outside the village, Kayin paused to smear soot on his face and eat another handful of dried jana berries. The berries seemed to be working; his face had remained as smooth as a girl’s through all his weeks on the savannah. A generous supply hung from the belt of his short skirt. Judging from the tenderness he felt higher up, the bitter fruits were on their way to giving him breasts, too.” – From “Pride” by Melissa Mead

“They told me I was striking, when they did notice–perfect proportions, natural grace, a complexion that neither tanned nor burned. My hair was jet, my skin pale white–an alabaster some admired. Mother described it differently: “There’s something cold about her, Ronald.” And Dad replied, “Well, Sally, he warmed up to your father like a flower to the sun.”  - From “Going Dark” by Lyn C.A. Gardner

The gods have made you a little strange, child. You’ll have to make yourself up to be more womanly. It falls to some of us to be so. But you’re lovely and dowered and you’ll catch yourself a goodish husband before long.” – From “The Cloak of Isis” by Sunny Moraine

” “I want your heart,” Dragon whispered, her breath frighteningly hot. “I don’t want to move on. Give me your heart, and I can stay with you: I want to be with you until I die.” ” – From “Treasure and Maidens” by Sarah Rees Brennan

 

And there you go.  Five tiny tastes of things to come.  You don’t know how much I’m looking forward to sharing the full stories with the world.  It was hard  finding good excerpts that evoked the story’s magic without giving away anything juicy, you know.  Especially since I keep getting distracted re-reading the stories, even as I take care of all the last minute formatting and editing that OF COURSE crept on me now.  So anyway, keep up the good work and stay tuned for further announcements.

 

(All excerpts courtesy of their respective authors, used for publicity purposes, legal mumbo-jumbo handwavium spell, etc etc etc.)

 

 

Scheherazade’s Facade: Day Five Report

Dear Everyone -

You’re awesome.

As of now, the Scheherazade’s Facade Kickstarter Campaign has been live for just over five full days.  We’re currently sitting at $3168 of $5000, or approximately  63% with 25 days to go.  Believe me when I say, this is AMAZING.  The response so far has been phenomenal.  121 people have pledged, saying that in essence, they believe in this project, that they want this anthology, that they want us to succeed.  I don’t even know how many others have taken a minute to blog, Tweet, Tumblr, or otherwise spread the word, and I appreciate everyone who’s done so.  Just knowing you care warms me inside.

Obviously, we have a ways to go, and over three weeks left in which to raise the remaining 37%.  I know we can do it.  I have faith.  (My wife would disagree – she thinks I’m a neurotic mess who needs to go mow the lawn, cook dinner, and change the litterboxes.  No respect, I tell you.  You think Shakespeare changed his own litterboxes?  That’s what street urchins were for.  But I digress.)

I feel like I owe it to everyone to give you a little something special.  A treat to whet your appetite, a gift to engage your senses, an appetizer to prepare you for the main course.  At first, I figured more cat pictures might do it, but then I decided to show you why I fell in love with these stories.  Some are slow burning, their secrets and treasures unfolding after a few paragraphs, luring you in.  And some were so strange, so beautiful, so evocative, that I was captured by the very first sentence.  So here then are the first lines from seven of the twelve stories.  You notice that not one begins, “Once upon a time…”

“Khshayarsha had been given a royal name – but that was the only gift that he had of his family.” – From “The Secret Name of the Prince” by Alma Alexander

“There are only so many things you can do with mutilated hands. ” – From “The Daemons of Tairdean Town” by C.S. MacCath

“My skin hangs on the wall, petrified, a warning to all of my transgression.” – From “Driftwood” by Tiffany Trent

“They hated each other. It would be true to say, they had fallen passionately in loathe from the first moment of meeting.” – From “Keeping the World On Course” by Tanith Lee

“Naryati numbers her days like the days in a dream, knowing them to be more numerous than the grains of rice in a harvest: every hour slowly bleeding into the next, every evening as grey and featureless as the skies overhead.” – From “A Bitter Taste” by Aliette de Bodard

“JoJo wants a mermaid’s face. He tells me this while I’ve got one hand inside his dress, feeling around for his fake boob. ” – From “How to Dance While Drowning” by Shanna Germain

” For starters, honey, I don’t believe in Hell–that’s just some old man’s way of telling me reasons why I can’t be me. Like “biology is destiny” means I have to be a boy.” – From “Lady Marmalade’s Special Place In Hell” by David Sklar

As for the other five stories?  Their treasures are hidden just a little further in, and I’ll do something special with those later.  Intrigued?  Interested?  You know what needs to be done.

 

(All credits and copyrights as appropriate to the original authors.  Used for publicity reasons. I make the Ward vs. Lawyers.)

(And I promise I’m not going to do this every day.  I really just wanted an excuse to share those first lines.   Who says I’m not generous.)